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Digital Camera Memory Card With Wi-Fi

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the remember-and-transmit dept.

Media 220

thefickler writes "A Secure Digital memory card with built-in Wi-Fi networking will allow digital cameras to upload images automatically to home computers and photo-sharing web sites. This product of California-based company Eye-Fi is currently in beta and should be launched later this year. Would you pay $100 for a 2-GB memory card in order to save the hassle of plugging in a USB cable?"

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$1.84 per month (4, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474765)

Assuming that my memory card or my current wi-fi or some other component will be obsolete in 5 years...$100 dollars amortized over 5 years at 4% comes to $1.84 per month. Heck, I tip more than that to have two burgers delivered to the table rather than get up and walk to over to the counter and get them myself.
This is a no-brainer.

Re:$1.84 per month (5, Interesting)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474879)

Yes, but what value does that $1.84/month give you over a regular 2GB SD card?

A regular 2GB SD card costs between $15 [newegg.com] and $34 [newegg.com] (5 year amortized at 4% blah blah blah is $0.28 to $0.63 per month). Essentially the advantage this card adds is not having to get up off your ass and walk 10 feet across the room to get your camera if it's not next to the computer. To me, that's of very little value -- far less than $66-85, especially given how prone SD cards are to getting lost. Then again, this is just me, I'm sure to some people with fatter asses than myself this is a value worth far more than the price difference.

Re:$1.84 per month (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19475201)

"To me, that's of very little value -- far less than $66-85, especially given how prone SD cards are to getting lost."

With a Wi-Fi SD card, wouldn't it mean that the SD card could stay IN the camera, thus avoiding the need to take it out?

Re:$1.84 per month (1)

Pippinjack (702680) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475207)

Just because Harmonious Botch eats two burgers at a time does not mean he has a fat ass you insensitive clod...

Re:$1.84 per month (4, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475305)

Yes, but what value does that $1.84/month give you over a regular 2GB SD card?

It could save wear and tear on the USB connection. My Olympus E20, a 5 MP DSLR, has a tiny USB connection which I sometimes use several times a day. Plug it in, grab the photos, eject the volume, unplug it, go back to what I was doing, do it again. Photography is a hobby; if I were serious about it, I'd use it more.

The E20 is a few years old, and the jack is definitely getting loose, though it hasn't actually had a connection problem yet. It'd be nice to not have to worry about it, and use the jack for less common situations. Same thing goes for card readers. Pull the card, insert the card in the reader, read it, pull the card, insert in camera... wear. Wear and more wear. Plus a remote, but real, risk of ESD problems (High plains Montana.. dry as death during the winter, and even some parts of the summer.)

My E20 has an infrared remote to fire the shutter. When I got it, I thought... I'll never use it. Ooops. I use it all the time. Not only does it allow rock-steady shots off a tripod (no physical contact), it saves wear on the shutter button, allows me the freedom to work more directly with the subject...

I suspect that a wifi enabled camera might be more convenient than we might think. Wifi has a decent range, too, it isn't choked into 30 feet like bluetooth is. So I'd buy this, and I wouldn't doubt for a minute that it would improve my camera experience. Wouldn't it be cool if the camera could just be set to send the images back to your laptop on a continuous basis? By the time you got to it, it'd already have your stuff ready to look at. While you shoot, it uploads. Yummy! Now that I'd definitely pay for. And it's almost time for a new camera anyway. 5 megapixels isn't exactly top of the line anymore...

Re:$1.84 per month (1)

F34nor (321515) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475357)

In addition what is your oppertunity cost for that?

Or $185 earning 7% compunded annualy is $259 which in 5 years would buy you something 7.5 times faster than a 8800 GTX. Wow NPV and Moores law together forever!

Re:$1.84 per month (3, Insightful)

Linagee (16463) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474883)

Do you really think technology lasts 5 years?

Digital cameras (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475851)

My old HP digital camera lasted for three years until I found that the battery life was substandard so we needed a new camera. So, instead of $2, you can put $4 dollars/month and it is still a bargain.

Re:$1.84 per month (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19474985)

Assuming that my memory card or my current wi-fi or some other component will be obsolete in 5 years...$100 dollars amortized over 5 years at 4% comes to $1.84 per month.
Yeah, but you're going to lose the card after 6 months and $100 amortized over 5 years at 4% is $16.86 per month.

So if you want to use your amortization arguement to justify the cost to your wife you'd better start by buying $60 hamburgers.

I was a beta tester (5, Informative)

evw (172810) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474993)

I used a beta version of the product and really enjoyed it. I thought it was at its best in a "digital party" social scene. It's a lot of fun snapping pictures at a party and having them immediately uploaded where they can be displayed on a big screen and shared with everyone.

The version I tested could be configured (using a computer app while the SD is mounted) to automatically upload to Flickr, Phanfare or a long list of other photo sharing sites. I believe they also had a version that would upload to your PC but I wasn't testing that.

Setup for the card was done using a PC. The camera is oblivious to the WiFi capabilities. On the plus side the card can be configured to connect to any of the networks that your computer knows about. On the negative side, I think you need the computer to add new networks.

Not the first (1)

Bretai (2646) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475021)

Not much different than this Wi-Fi SD card [dpreview.com]

It's gonna be hard to offer security with no user interface on the camera, and I wouldn't use it without that. Once most cameras offer built-in Wi-Fi, these little gadgets - although cool - will be overpriced and obsolete.

Re:Not the first (5, Insightful)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475083)

It is not just a Wi-Fi SD card. It is an SD memory card that transparently and asynchronously uploads all files stored on it to a designated IP endpoint.

Re:Not the first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19475985)

So if we know what the IP is, we can walk around town and get pictures uploaded from everyone else's camera?

Re:Not the first (5, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475163)

What you posted a link to was an SDIO WiFi card. Such cards are commonly used in PDAs and in this case printers to give them Wifi capabilities. They require SDIO support in the device and drivers. TFA is about a 2Gb memory card, which has onboard Wifi and the software to use it to transparently upload files to a server. To the device it appears as a 2Gb memory card, not as an SDIO Wifi card.

Re:Not the first (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475589)

Am I the only one who doesn't like the idea of my files being transparently loaded anywhere? Call me a luddite but I'd rather have that under my manual control - I assume this isn't possible as the camera would have to provide the controls/UI.

Re:Not the first (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475295)

It's gonna be hard to offer security with no user interface on the camera

Don't configure it from the camera, then. Plug it into an SD card reader and configure it from your PC. It just needs to have a file on the card with the WEP key and SSID (or WPA if you feel like being lulled into a false sense of security).

Re:Not the first (1)

munrom (853142) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475309)

or WPA if you feel like being lulled into a false sense of security.
I was under the impression that WPA & WPA2 was actually fairly tough to break if you had a large enough passphrase

Re:Not the first (1)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475561)

If they are, it just makes it that much harder for you to know what the memory card is actually doing on its wifi connection.

Maybe its sending spam when its done uploading all your pictures.... somewhere.

Maybe instead of posting to Flickr, it actually sends your pictures to a server someone that the company selling the card (I didn't RTFA... sorry) controls, at which point they forward it to Flickr. It would definitely allow them to support many, many more photo sites in the future. Way more convenient than trying to perform a firmware upgrade on the wifi card on your memory card every time a new photo album site pops up with another new upload method. So I honestly wouldn't be surprised if that's how it works. Seriously. Imagine trying to debug why the magic wifi client inside your mother's camera isn't uploading pictures to her Flickr account when you have access to neither.

I wouldn't put one of those things anywhere near my stuff. Not without tcpdump running.

Security isn't always about key size.

Re:Not the first (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475673)

Way more convenient than trying to perform a firmware upgrade on the wifi card on your memory card

You're still missing the point. It's a memory card. You put it in a card reader and copy the new boot image across. Now I don't know if that's how they're doing it, but that's how *I'd* do it. Perhaps the card could be partitioned into a data and a system area, with the system area holding the config and boot file?

Re:$1.84 per month (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475307)

$1.84 per month. Heck, I tip more than that to have two burgers delivered to the table rather than get up and walk to over to the counter and get them myself.
Now you're just showing off.

WiFi on Cellphones (2, Interesting)

FromTheHorizon (1008223) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474779)

Could this be used to add WiFi to a cellphone with an SD slot? That would be cool...

Re:WiFi on Cellphones (1)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475273)

There are already some SD WiFi cards out there, I'd imagine that the new thing that this one provides is the shape i.e. it fits entirely into the SD card. Existing ones have an antenna or a part that sticks out usually.

The device must support the SD WiFi drivers and last I checked the level of support was pretty limited.

Re:WiFi on Cellphones (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475711)

There are already some SD WiFi cards out there, I'd imagine that the new thing that this one provides is the shape i.e. it fits entirely into the SD card. Existing ones have an antenna or a part that sticks out usually.

The device must support the SD WiFi drivers and last I checked the level of support was pretty limited.

Why spoil a stupid theory by reading the article?

No this is no the same thing. In this example, the camera (or any device really) does not need SDIO support, all it need is SD support, which so many things have. It is a way of adding seamless network functionality to any device that has SD, really. You could use it more than just transferring photos.

Security? (2, Funny)

uolamer (957159) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474783)

Of course this product seems to provide convenience and has many applications. I just dont see it being that secure, once you take in account of how 'ignorant' the average person is about security. actually it sounds just fine, please start selling them asap, im bored.

Re:Security? (2, Interesting)

ettlz (639203) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475045)

This is a very reasonable gripe. I've secured my network with WPA-Enterprise, and as far as I know none of those fancy wireless-enabled devices (cameras, games consoles, print servers, etc.) support EAP-TLS authentication (where do I store the certificate?). It's a nuisance.

Re:Security? (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475319)

That said, I've just found out some high-end Lexmark print servers do support WPA-Enterprise.

could be cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19474791)

Especially when traveling overseas.

Anyplace with an open network you can archive all of your photos without having to go through a terrible amount of hassle.

True most of the places have card readers, but the rare situation may present itself...

I might think about getting one.

Privacy Risk (2, Insightful)

Embedded Geek (532893) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474799)

My immediate thought was relabling one of these so it appeared to be a non-WiFi card. Then, if one could handle the software/virus end of it to force the device to transmit stuff without the owner's knowledge, you would be able to observe and/or steal any and all images from a camera or hijack a cellphone that used it, etc.

Re:Privacy Risk (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475007)

I would assume that they've implemented this in the obvious way - make it look like a shared file server with no password on it, so it's easy to access from your PC.
(If not, then it's more trouble to use than simply popping the card into your PC.)

If it is implemented in the obvious way, then yeah, anybody nearby can also read your memory card, upload your pictures, delete them, replace them with viruses or LoLcat memes, etc. (Ise in ur kamera, downloading ur pictur3z) In general, it seems like a bad idea.

$100 for 2GB --- absolutely (3, Insightful)

inflex (123318) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474803)

Biggest hate I have with cameras is having to move that card in/out, not to mention stupid events like racing off with the camera without remembering to put the card back into the cam *sigh*, or forgetting to umount the 'drive' etc etc, so yes, a tiny $100 for 2GB is well and truly worth the gains (for me).

Re:$100 for 2GB --- absolutely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19474931)

not to mention stupid events like racing off with the camera without remembering to put the card back into the cam *sigh*
How about this, instead of paying $100 for one of these cards, go buy two regular fast 2GB SD cards for $30 apiece. Then put one in your camera to use and one in your camera case as a backup in case you forget to put the card back in. Then use the $40 you have left over to buy yourself a case of beer and drink it while laughing at everybody who is stupid enough to waste their money on an SD card with wifi.

Re:$100 for 2GB --- absolutely (1)

Silicon_Knight (66140) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475039)

Here's my easy fix to your problem - when I pull a card out, I leave the card door open, and when I pull the battery out for recharge, I leave the battery door open. I've trained myself that right before I grab the camera (usually sitting on a designated spot on a shelf) I visually check the doors and make sure that they are closed.

I also have a DSLR, which I never turn off - I just tap the shutter release to get it out of sleep mode, snap a pic real quick to make sure everything's cool before I go out.

Oh the horrors - a non-technical solution to a technical problem! :-)

Re:$100 for 2GB --- absolutely (1)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475841)

How about 1) using the camera as a reader so you don't have to remove the card nor own a card reader 2) buy a 8GB card for that price that will make swapping of cards unnecessary

Re:$100 for 2GB --- absolutely (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475955)

This usually isn't done because :

1. : camera USB links (even USB2) are slower than a decent card reader

2. : unless your camera happens to have an insanely high resolution and you shoot RAWs, in which case you probably need *several* 8GiB cards, it's considered safer to have several smaller cards than a single large one so that a card failure doesn't take all of your data with it.

Re:$100 for 2GB --- absolutely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19475863)

So it seems that $100 is the price of stupidity. After all, your own justification for shelving $100 on a useless product is the extremely tortuous task of INSERTING A SD CARD INTO A SD CARD SLOT! Heck, that's quite a workout. And what about that "oh I easily forget" load of crap? What's there to forget? Take the card out the camera, insert into the computer's card reader, download, take the card out, re-insert into the camera. OMG SO HARD!

Better Security Cameras (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19474809)

It there is an easy way to trigger the camera into taking a picture, then maybe you could make a security camera system that had better resolution, auto-focus and etc, than the incredibly crappy cameras used in most systems.

Re:Better Security Cameras (1)

zcat_NZ (267672) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475133)

Or you could just buy a high-resolution network camera specifically designed for the job

Would I buy? No.. But it's still neat! (1)

coryboehne (244614) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474811)

I have a HP laptop, most of the newer laptops have card readers built in, so it's eaiser for me to just slap the card in that it is to mess with the wireless connection..

Still, neat idea overall, just not useful to me, might work with my palm lifedrive quite nicely though.... hmm..

Re:Would I buy? No.. But it's still neat! (1)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474911)

...palm lifedrive...
You mean this is a real product name? Does it get hairy with overuse?

Re:Would I buy? No.. But it's still neat! (1)

coryboehne (244614) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474945)

...palm lifedrive...
You mean this is a real product name? Does it get hairy with overuse?

Yes, if by hairy you mean occasional complete drive failure..

I have absolutely NO idea why palm thought it was a good idea to use a mechanical hdd rather than a solid state memory card, sometimes I really wonder about engineers.. sigh.. Fortuneately they did replace the unit's drive for free and within about a week...

Answer to market research question (1)

Compuser (14899) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474819)

I would not pay $100. A 2 Gb SD card costs 17.50 today on pricewatch
not counting sales and rebates that happen occasionally bringing the
price down even more. So I would pay a bit extra, perhaps $20 for
a wifi version. HTH.

Re:Answer to market research question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19474877)

Yes but would you pay $100 to never have to pay for another SD flash memory card again? That's what this card is really offering.

Re:Answer to market research question (2, Interesting)

Zebedeu (739988) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475449)

I would pay for it.
Hell, I would pay 100 just for adding the Wi-Fi functionality to my camera.

One of the things I'm really lazy about is connecting the camera to the USB port on my PC. I don't like taking the CF card out because 1) it's basically the same amount of work, and 2) I've heard that sometimes the pins in the camera can be bent during insertion.

In essence it's the same reason why I like to have bluetooth on my cellphone for synchronization: you're just sitting there and synchronize without having to reach for the device or the cables (ok, so maybe you would have to turn on the camera).

Selective market (3, Informative)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474823)

Assuming I'm reading this correctly... there already is a market for cameras with built-in wifi. Canon has a few models; one that comes to mind is the SD430. Nikon also has a few models. Even Kodak has an SD-sized Wifi adapter. I am also aware of adapters for professional high-end cameras, i.e. the Canon WTF-E1.

It's a selective market because not everyone will be able to take advantage of the full benefit. If you are a corporate photographer, for example, it might be nice to be able to have your photos automatically uploaded to your network share as you snap photos at board meetings and whatnot. On the other hand, I don't think Wifi will do you much good on your African Safari trip.

All in all, this article is just another slashvertisement. Just another company probably trying to get the word out about their new product - hardly anything revolutionary. The market already exists, it is a niche market, and no, I will not be paying a hundred f**king dollars for it.

Re:Selective market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19474967)

on your African Safari trip.
The only safari the average slashdotter goes on is to the fridge.

Re:Selective market (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475375)

If you looked at the average /.er's computer room, you may find that an African Safari is rather tame in comparison.

About the market (4, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475093)

French cops have a new tactic in protests : when they label someone "troublemaker" they ask him to delete his camera's memory. Wifi could be a way to get around that.

Re:Selective market (1)

Zebedeu (739988) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475481)

Yeah, but have you seen the price on the WTF-E1? It costs more than my current digital SLR!

I think I can imagine why it's called "WTF" -- It's the first thing people think when they see the price.

No but I would to have Skype on my Treo 650 (1)

F34nor (321515) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474835)

Adding wifi to phones means the end of of paying for cell/mobile phone service in the home and even in wireless MANs. Lots of phones have SD varients. There are two SD cards on the market already that have wifi and one apparently has memory as well. Although they are not supported by the treo unless you hack it. Go Shadowmite go.

Re:No but I would to have Skype on my Treo 650 (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474863)

Check out the nokia e65 for a nice voip 802.11g compatible phone, or if you have too much money the n95 :)

Re:No but I would to have Skype on my Treo 650 (1)

F34nor (321515) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474927)

I'm currently in the Middle East and my wife has a Nokia e61 that hasn't been crippled by some slack jawed cell phone company exec. I have been running pbxes.org with Gizmo project for sip Voip goodness. Although since I updated the phone that setup has not worked and I have not tried to figure out why. In the meantime Fring came out and now she can just use Skype on the phone. Its rough sometimes but it works. The sip was always fantastic. Now if I could just get her stupid employers to get off the goddamn browser based authentication life would be simple.

Speed is an issue (1)

Rolman (120909) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474841)

Given the size and power requirements for SD cards, I think we can safely assume it's going to be limited to 802.11b speeds for data transfer.

That means a theoretical maximum of 11Mbps (actually around 7Mbps maximum throughput), which is hardly enough for real-time photo transfer in cameras with a resolution higher than a few megapixels (with compression) and that automatically rules out any professional usage for this thing.

Even if it somehow managed to achieve 802.11g speeds, it's just around 20Mbps throughput tops, so still nothing to write home about. Maybe 802.11n would be a little more interesting, but I really doubt it'd be feasible.

Anyhow, it's a nice hack and maybe a great geek toy to impress friends. It may even be cool to integrate with an app in your PDA or smartphone, or enable printers to support it, but it's useless for anything more serious than that.

Re:Speed is an issue (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475171)

Well, how about thinking before dismissing it?
It isnt just a wireless adaptor, it also got 2Gbyte of memory.

This means that if, for example, you shoot raw with 10 Mbyte of filesize (which is quite typical), you can take 200 pictures.
If you are in a studio (or whereever else you have wifi),now every 10-20 seconds, one of them will be transfered away, freeing up that space.

It might last quite a while that way.

Re:Speed is an issue (1)

iGN97 (83927) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475455)

This is true. Also, consider the other things taking time in a studio situation. Most professional strobe systems take at least half a second to recycle. This means you can pretty much forget firing bursts in a studio situation.

Also, in a burst situation, you actually have two caches taking the hit before the wifi-part, the in-camera memory and the memory on the memory-card. So I would think this combination would happily accommodate most real life extreme burst situations. Maybe what the original poster was really looking for was a video camera.

This actually sounds like a great device, and I'll definitely get one of they make a CF-version compatible with my Canon-gear.

bluetooth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19474847)

It seems to be that bluetooth is just as common as WiFi, and would be easier to use for the average person. Since getting a camera phone with bluetooth and can now send the (not so great quality) pics direct to my comp - any comp with bluetooth - suddenly I am always annoyed by my digital cam everytime I have to dig around to find the USB cable.

This would be great for underwater photography. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19474881)

One of my biggest problems with taking underwater pictures is the hassle of taking the camera in and out of the enclosure in order to get the pictures off the camera. Usually my battery life is good for 2-3 outtings but I'd really hate to run out of space on my memory card.

Now if only they would incorperate this AND the charging without a cord technology that pops up every couple of years and I'd be all set. Cutting down the risk of flooding your digital camera UW would be worth the small price bump to me.

Bah, I don't need no USB cable (2, Informative)

MelloDawg (180509) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474891)

My SD card has USB built-in:

http://www.sandisk.com/Products/Item(1853)-SDSDPH- 2048-SanDisk_Ultra_II_SD_Plus_USB_2GB.aspx [sandisk.com]

This solution seems alot simpiler than Wi-Fi: no SSID/WEP/WPA/etc stuff to configure.

Funny, people are usually more impressed by my SD card than my new Nikon DSLR.

Re:Bah, I don't need no USB cable (1)

nsebban (513339) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475583)

I bought mine without being too sure it would be a good product, but it ended up being an amazing SD card. I'm surprised the built-in USB hasn't become the de facto standard in SD, seeing how usefull it is.

I don't see the point of adding Wi-Fi to a SD card. It takes 2 seconds to plug your digital camera to a computer (or a TV). And seeing how Wi-Fi lacks security, I don't want this new thing to become a standard :/ I know I wouldn't buy one, may it be for $100 or even cheaper.

Just the thing for protests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19474935)

where cards and abuses often disappear

Wifi is highly overrated... I'd rather bt+3g (3, Insightful)

dfn_deux (535506) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474937)

I'd much prefer an SD card with a bluetooth adaptor built in that could leverage the 3G wireless internet connection which is the true core of the PAN (Personal Area Network) that is always touted as being the logical goal of the bluetooth architecture. I mean really, BT chipsets are far more optimized for power than wifi and comes with far fewer limitation as to the connections it can make. Let the devices choose the path of least resistance to the internet, be it tunnel over a phone, pda, laptop, or whatever the marketplace has in store next.

honestly I think that the working group that came up with BT designed it for exactly this sort of purpose. It'd be stupid not to also use this type of integration between PAN components to further enhance the meta data richness of the content created by the camera. GPS, PDA, camera, 3gphone, and headset sounds like a pretty good recipe for being your own gargoyle. I for one wouldn't mind being able to publish video, photo, sound, and location data at a moment's notice directly to the internet. If we are bound to live in surveillance state I'd sure like to get a good grip on the technology before Big Brother does.

Re:Wifi is highly overrated... I'd rather bt+3g (2, Insightful)

amorsen (7485) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475071)

Bluetooth is so slow it's useless. Headsets need more bandwidth, so you can't get decent bluetooth headsets. File transfer, forget it. Internet access -- even 3G is faster than bluetooth, so forget that too.

Re:Wifi is highly overrated... I'd rather bt+3g (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475819)

I get about 64KB/s from Bluetooth. I'm transferring a load of pictures from my phone camera with it now. They're only about 3-500KB each, so about a tenth the size of a modern stand-alone camera. It takes a few seconds for each one, but it's very low power and is much more convenient that removing the memory card. I wouldn't call Bluetooth completely useless.

The main advantage of Bluetooth is that it defines a complete protocol stack. I can transfer files from my phone to my computer because they both support Bluetooth; in this case the object exchange profile, although the file transfer protocol is better if I wanted to pull them, rather than push them, from the phone. With WiFi, you need to additionally define a load of protocols on top. Do you use IP (v4 or v6) on top of the ethernet? What do you use at the application layer? SMB? HTTP PUT? WebDav? NFS?

Not the memory card... The device! (2, Insightful)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474941)

I think it is a great idea to be able to wirelessly transfer data from devices such as cameras. But I think it's the wrong approach to equip the memeory cards they use with wifi. The devices themselves should have wifi capabilities, and I do see this coming in the near future. Equipping memory cards with wifi is a nice way of making existing devices wifi capable but it's not something which will be usefull in the future as more devices become wifi enabled.

Security (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474949)

I don't mean to sound like I'm trolling with FUD, but knowing how secure WiFi is, can't this be a privacy issue? For example, couldn't one access data on your SD card by WiFi?

No more tethered shooting (1)

dalesc (66212) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474951)

If you're working in a studio, having a laptop on a trolley on the end of a USB cable following you around is a common set-up these days. Seeing a picture on a decent laptop screen can show problems a digital camera screen hides - particularly what's in focus and what's not. But even with a long USB cable, tethered working is restrictive.

If this gives the advantages of tethered shooting without the cable, I'd buy one in an instant.

Re:No more tethered shooting (1)

plaxion (98397) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475219)

Actually, connecting via a cable is not that common at all as there is already a way to transmit images via wireless for professionals using Nikon [adorama.com] or Canon [adorama.com] equipment.

The purpose of transferring the images in this manner is to 1) eliminate the time involved downloading cards (time is money) 2) allow you to double check exposure and white balance on a color managed device (your environment is color managed I hope) and 3) allows your assistants to get to work on the final images before you've even finished shooting.

If you're using this because you need to check what's in focus after you take the shot, I suggest you work on your basic skills.

combo cards? (1)

xonicx (1009245) | more than 6 years ago | (#19474965)

nice to see some combo(IO+Memory) cards going out of lab. Don't assume that these cards will fit into any kind of camera. camera should support SD host spec 2.0 and driver should support combo cards. It will take time to see SD combo cards capable cameras.

Or... (4, Funny)

BooleanLobster (1077727) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475023)

... surf the net with your camera!

I can't wait until they make an eggbeater with a built in webcam. Or a BlueTooth-enabled flashlight.

This reminds me of the marketing guy talking to Dilbert: "It has to have a 47'' screen and still fit in a purse or wallet. It has to act as a communications satellite as well as an air freshener. It must cure deadly diseases and whiten your teeth while you sleep! AND IT HAS TO BE CAPABLE OF TIME TRAVEL! AND HAVE A TELEPATHIC USER INTERFACE!"

RDF (1)

iMac Were (911261) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475643)

"It has to have a 47'' screen and still fit in a purse or wallet. *snip* AND IT HAS TO BE CAPABLE OF TIME TRAVEL! AND HAVE A TELEPATHIC USER INTERFACE!"
Unless it's made by Apple. In that case, all Steve Jobs has to do is get on stage and claim that it does all that. But it has to look really super nice. Rounded corners, oh yes please.

Where does Wi-Fi belong? (1)

gaelfx (1111115) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475035)

1. If I do buy this, I am still bound by the *painstaking* task of deleting all those crummy photos I end up taking of my finger or the back of the head of the asshat who walks in front of the guy with the camera. Isn't this worse than actually taking out the cable, plugging it into the camera and plugging that into the computer? 2. 2GB for a professional photographer is not going to cover very much, however, I'm sure a professional could afford several of these happy little battery eaters. The question, however, is this: How many MAC addresses can a professional photographer set up so the mystical fingers of the wireless router can grab his photos? 3. Apparently, cameras with Wi-Fi built-in haven't yet seized the entire market of digital cameras yet. So how on earth is a memory card with this capability supposed to succeed where a much simpler solution has supposedly failed? 4. Who else can access this SD-sized Wi-Fi cards signal? To whomever gave these people 5.5 bills to develop this junk: I have this great idea for transferring electricity without all these cables, if you give me ten-million dollars, I'll develop it for you....What's that?....Sure, it can power a light bulb.....(maybe).

Digital Camera Memory Card With Wi-Fi (0, Troll)

Hope M. (1106489) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475069)

For me it is impractical to integrate this kind of feature, this could not be possibly correct because of the effort of introducing a new technology, which is very basic. let's discuss this further, reach me at: http://forum.affiliatebot.com/register.php [affiliatebot.com]

Compact Flash? (2, Insightful)

redwoodtree (136298) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475111)

God, if they can do this in an SD card, why not a compact flash? Is it just that there's a much bigger market for SD cards?

I have a Nikon D70 and this sure would be nice....

Re:Compact Flash? (1)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475571)

I would bet it's mostly that SD cards have a larger market share, but there are also practical reasons why it would be less useful on a CF card. I mean, the places where CF is used instead of SD are generally stuff that needs faster data transfer -- wireless is slow, a little slow for a 2GB SD and a lot slow for CF. I mean, I'm assuming this uses 802.11b, you're going to get at best ~6Mbit/s -- a quality CF card can do like 40Mbit/s so that's a huge hit.

This problem is exacerbated by the fact that there are a lot of compact flash cards available that are bigger than this 2GB card -- an 8GB card would take 3 hours to transfer at 6Mbit/s compared to less than half an hour at 40Mbit/s (and a CF card might be even faster in reality).


TheBearBear (1103771) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475151)

I've been wanting something like this . Also, I wish there was a camera out there that comes with functions that lets it automatically take a photo at X time, repeat Y times at Z intervals. That would be great for time lapse shots. Or with the wifi link you can remotely control the camera!! Is there one like that out there? Or you can sync 100 of these cameras and place them in a row and let them take a snapshot at the same focal point, .01 seconds apart!

Geology field trips (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475159)

We're currently testing the Ricoh 500SE [ricohsolutions.com] for geology students' field trips, wandering around sand quarries, mountain areas, with wireless networks to connect them back to base or over the internet to a field studies centre. Last year's project here [open.ac.uk] . So would be of interest to us. Right now we're looking at ruggedised kit for tough environments but we're working towards coming up with a generic solution that could help schools and universities build their own off-the-shelf field trip kit. So a card that could be fitted into the school's own more standard digital cameras would be great. The last thing you want to be doing in 'the field' is popping open cameras and fiddling around with tiny cards, all sorts of comedy potential for the cards to get lost in the mud/sand to get into the camera etc. Wireless beaming the data back to a laptop in the school bus parked down the road or straight back to the field studies centre, a much nicer solution indeed.

Worthless (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19475173)

So instead of plugging in your camera every time you want to get the photos off, you get up an plug it into the charger because the WiFi SD card is sucking down the power faster.

Either way you're not gaining anything.

I'll buy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19475259)

...ever had your terrorist activi.... oops protest march photos deleted by the police? No problem any more - "O.k. Mr. Officer, I'll delete all the photos. See, I'm formatting the card and fill it with photos of the pavement so the photos of your squad beating up peaceful demonstrators is not recoverable. I'm sorry for the trouble caused."

What I am missing in digital cameras (1)

PMBjornerud (947233) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475447)

What I would pay for, would be a standard approach for digital cameras to use Bluetooth to share pictures with other cameras nearby.

As it is, when taking group pictures, either everyone needs to get a picture taken with "their" camera, or someone needs to email everyone afterwards. It would have been really nice to have a feature to just share a picture you just took with everyone* else.

It's really easy to show people your pictures as you go on a digital camera. What I want, it for it to be just as easy to share them.

*Strangers and passersby excluded from accessing your pictures, obviously.

Great if camera is in inaccessable place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19475509)

Your missing the point of this. If your camera is on a tall pole above you or dangling from a kite or balloon or just perched on a ledge somewhere you can trigger your camera by the remote or a radio release and see the resulting image instantly on the ground on your laptop/pda to see if it has taken correctly. No more taking your pole/kite shots, bringing the camera down and then finding out you missed a shot and have to repeat it all. For a 100 dollars this would be great.

Hmmmmm..... (1, Insightful)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475511)

A WiFi-enabled memory storage device?

Jeezus..... Just *how* much easier are we going to make it for hackers to gain access to private data?

If you are so lazy that plugging in a USB cable is just, oh, too much to ask of you, then you pretty much deserve to have your data stolen.

Now we have WiFi memory cards for people who don't want the hassle of plugging in a USB cable. What's next? Doors that don't have keys for people who can't spare enough time to use keys?

Useless. I can understand cameras that are WiFi enabled, but making the memory cards WiFi is just asking for a problem, since the cards are also used for storing other data (documents/files, mp3s, etc.).

Like the old Sandisk 256MB + Wifi SD card? (1)

pelago (957767) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475579)

There was a 256MB SD card from Sandisk which also included a Wifi adapter, which was useful for Wifi-less PDA owners. Is this going to be similar?

That's Cheap (1)

tacocat (527354) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475689)

If you consider Microsoft's Surface is $5,000 so you can place a camera on your table and have it move photos around...

Considering the cameras are starting to do blue tooth on their own, not sure that you need all that much more for moving files around. But who ami I? I'm not a marketing dick, I'm just Joe User when it comes to interconnecting devices. It's awfully convenient that all the devices are now starting to use a single common form for USB connectors -- means I only really need one cable for everything.

Surface (1)

HUKI365 (1113395) | more than 6 years ago | (#19475779)

Have I missed a comment or is the future that the Microsoft Surface was aimed at? Devices, all types, have easy access Wi-Fi interfaces. Simply brilliant.

A complete waste of time(IMHO) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19475805)

As has been said quite eloquently this is pretty much a complete non starter. Many cameras have this or something similar already.
I think this is a gimmick, pure and simple. It has limited novelty value and that all. The transmission speed is going to be rubbish. Far quicker to change the card and have it downloading while you are taking the next set of piccies...

Disclaimer, I use a Nikon D2Xs and a D200. I have the ability to send pictures using a mobile phone connection. The press snappers I work with use it all the time. In my dept(features) the speed of getting the pictures back to the office is not so urgent so I have only used it a few times

I do wonder how many people use this sort of facility on consumer digital cameras? My guess is pretty small.

One thing which has not been mentioned (AFAIK) is that using any form of data transmission from the camera can be a big power drain. Many cameras don't have the battery power to do this much. Pro Cameras and their users always have spare batteries and memory cards ready for use. The average Consumer probably does not have this.

If you are just too lazy to swap memory cards then please give up photography...
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